Did the Cleveland Indians fire an usher for being unwilling to wear a “Vote Yes for Issue 7” sticker? One specific usher appears to think so.
In a report penned by Vince Grzegorek from Cleveland Scene Magazine, Edward Loomis, a 27-year-old usher who was in the midst of his second season with the team, feels that he was fired due to his unwillingness to support the extension of the sin tax. There are some vague areas of grey regarding Loomis’ story—penciling himself in on the schedule, for instance—but rather than picking sides, we will let you sift through the information that’s been provided.
Loomis, who is 27, worked for the Tribe in the premium seating area since last Spring. He was all set for year two with the Indians when a little stomach bug snuck up on him just prior to the home opener. He emailed his supervisor and let her know he would probably not be available for that first three-game stretch. His illness cleared up sooner than expected and he arrived on April 4, ready to work. His supervisor then instructed him that, although he wasn’t on the schedule, to pencil himself in. He did so and attended the regular pre-game meeting.
Sick employee turns into Wolverine, heals up faster than expected and is ready to work. All good, right? Yeah, not so much.
“I then came in the next day, on Saturday, and I was not allowed in the stadium. If you’re not scheduled, you’re told you’re not supposed to come in, and that made sense to me, since I had previously called off. I was persistent in asking why though.”
Loomis says he had security radio his supervisor twice to ask why he wasn’t allowed in and why the previous day’s arrangement — penciling his name in on the schedule — wasn’t suitable any longer. He had called off, prematurely, but was ready to work.
He subsequently received an email from his supervisor that he was not scheduled to work until further notice pending an investigation about what happened at the gate. Loomis insists that besides being “persistent,” he was not violent or threatening, either verbally or physically, that Saturday.
Yesterday, Loomis heard from the organization again: he was fired. A former coworker was not surprised — he told Loomis he had heard he was fired a full week ago.
The Indians obviously benefit from the extension of the sin tax, thus making it clear why they would encourage (or mandate, which they claim is not the case) employees to support the issue. In the business world, many things that are deemed “optional” can easily morph into “recommended,” which—well—becomes unoffically mandatory. The story of what occurred at the gate on that Saturday is obviously one-sided, and it doesn’t help matters when the team is unwilling to share their side of the story. When Loomis asked for reasons of his firing, but was allegeldy given very little in the way of information and the team, through email, declined to expand on the story in any capacity.
Just like any other man-versus-machine story, it’s easy to side with the individual who is more than willing to talk on his own behalf. Not helping matters is the politically sensitive topic of Issue 7 and the radio silence from the other side.
Then again, who still uses pencils?